For over two decades, planners and community leaders have debated the merits of light rail in the Austin region. Although passenger rail services can accommodate the growing transportation demand facing the region and provide an alternative to increasingly congested highways, the region has been challenged in its effort to build a multimodal system. In the meantime, other regions have moved ahead with plans and succeeded in integrating rail into their regional transportation systems. This city forum examines the state of regional transportation planning in Austin, including the status of Austin's first modern rail line and the coordinated transportation and land use strategies outlined in CAMPO’s 2035 long-range plan.
Dr. Daniel Yang is a Program Manager at the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization at Austin, Texas. Daniel is responsible for the GIS-based demographic forecasting and travel demand modeling in support of the federally required long range transportation plan updates for the Austin metropolitan area. Daniel has more than 20 years of experience in urban planning with a specialty in transportation planning. He was also an adjunct faculty at University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Geography and the Environment and the Program in Community and Regional Planning, teaching urban transportation geography and metropolitan planning and modeling courses.
Dr. Susan Handy is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the Director of the University Transportation Center at the University of California-Davis. Her research interests focus on the relationships between transportation and land use, particularly the impact of land development patterns on travel behavior. She is internationally known in the transportation and public health fields for her research on the connection between neighborhood design and walking behavior. Her recent work includes a series of studies on bicycling behavior and an examination of the impact of federal funding on investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.